Dean M. Chriss
Trees and Thermal Pool, Yellowstone National Park

Trees and Thermal Pool, Sunrise

(Click image to enlarge)

The trees in this photograph were once able to grow here at this location, but conditions eventually got too hostile. In areas that have thermal features like geysers and hot springs, the thermal features often move and change over time. For instance, large areas of forest can die if the underground hot water "plumbing" changes and directs hot acidic water to the tree roots. Such is likely the case here. Conversely, an area teaming with geysers and hot springs can go quiet, and when it does vegetation slowly reclaims the area.